2018 Carato Vernaccia
San Gimignano, Tuscany
FOR Comparison: 94 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate for the 2016 (not the 2018)
The oak-aged Montenidoli 2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Carato (with 6,000 bottles made) opens to an off-gold color with some light amber highlights. This is an elegantly evolved expression that boasts dried apricot, candied orange peel and almond paste. The wine is texturally rich and creamy, with pretty highlights of saffron, cumin and toasted cardamom pod. This wine is one of the maximum expressions of Vernaccia that you can find.
The Carato sees French oak barrel aging and is a gorgeous expression of vernaccia with a nod to Burgundy with the notes of oak barrel aging integrating perfectly with the wine's fruit and minerality. I love this wine and try to get a few bottles when the new release comes around (along with the Fiore and Templare). Fermentation in wood follows the style of the Templars, giving this white an echo of Burgundy. It becomes a rich white, a nose full of different perfumes of honey, brioche toast, roasted nuts, full in the body and long in the aftertaste.
Soil composition Calcareous with marine sediments
Composition 100% Vernaccia
Farming certified organic
Vinification Free run juice ferments in barriques
Aging 12 months in mixed use French barriques
Refining 24 months in the bottle
Bouquet Intense, lemon and jasmine flowers
On the Palate Citrus fruits, spices, long savory aftertaste